She’s 91 years old.
She’s tough as nails.
Mom’s motto: “Getting old is not for sissies.”
And she loved my new book, The Case from Outer Space, coming August 8th.
Maybe I’ve been writing for the wrong demographic all along. Why write for young people at all? Picture books for preschoolers? Novels for tweens? YA?
Forget all that. I’m going after the untapped nonagenarian market!
I figured I’d share some snaps from my recent trip down to my old stomping grounds on Long Island.
On Wednesday night I drove to New London, CT, to take the ferry to Greenport, Long Island. That’s where my dear old mom lives, so I crashed at her place for two nights. Mom is 89 years old and, these days at least, a very happy Mets fan . . .
On Thursday, I drove out to the Sequoya Middle School in Holtsville where I was invited by Jennifer Schroeder and Sandy Bucher. Like all the best days in my life, it started with lunch! I ate with students from the Summer Reading Club.
What a great way to start the day. With pizza . . . and a great group of young, intelligent, enthusiastic readers.
I didn’t just eat and chat. I also signed books, gratefully.
This is Sandy and Jennifer, who made the day the possible.
These three won prizes in a raffle, though I felt like the real winner all day long.
On the way to the assembly with an audience of 260 students, one girl asked me in a soft voice if I’d seen the poster. “Yes, it’s fantastic,” I said. And after a pause, I wondered, “Did you make it?”
She sure had. Of course, I demanded her name and a photo. Angela looks proud, doesn’t she? So much talent and a great smile, too. How is that fair?
Later I drove home and watched the Mets with my mom. It’s how we roll.
On Friday, I visited Bellport where I presented to a large group of librarians from Suffolk County. There were about 100 in the room, my guess, and I think it went well. Librarians are my kind of people, so hopefully it was relaxed and enjoyable for all concerned. My fingers are crossed in the hope it will lead to more school visits in the area. Thank you, Gail Barraco for the invitation!
Next I took a ferry . . .
. . . and drove to a hotel near Warwick, NY. The next morning, Saturday, I signed books at the fabulous Warwick Children’s Book Festival, thanks to Lisa Laico, Christina Ryan-Linder, and Judy Peterson. The amount of work that goes into these things — the months of planning, the degree of detail — is mind-boggling. What a great gift to the community.
As an author, I am always grateful for a chance to meet other “real, live” authors. Every time I meet someone new . . .
. . . and I also get the chance to catch up with established friends.
After that, it was time to head home. My real job, the essential job, is for me to sit alone in a quiet room. That’s where I’m at now, trying to figure out the next book. But it’s trips like this that energize and inspire me to keep at it, even during the difficult times. Many thanks to one and all!
NEWS ITEM: The notoriously cantankerous critic, 89-year-old Ann Preller, recently declared that THE FALL (September, 2015) was James Preller’s “best book yet.” She went on to say that she feels sure it will be a national bestseller, and that the author looks nice in that green sweater, but should really call more often.